title>https://www.bretoncelles-patrimoine-nature.fr/en/pages/hiking-trails/hiking-trails.html

Hiking Trails

8 hiking trails around Bretoncelles

FR 

Bretoncelles is the second largest commune by area in the Perche natural park.  The some 120 hamlets and localities within its boundaries, its forests, rivers and streams and the diversity of its countryside make it an ideal area for walking.  Bretoncelles Patrimoine et Nature maintains 8 hiking trails covering around waymarked 100 kilometres all departing from the 'complexe sportif' car park (just opposite the camper van park).
There you will find an explanation panel and a QR code to find this page on your smartphone.

 

BPN has used evocative and poetic names for the trails :

Le petit Houx du Parc                        (5 km) 
Sur les ponts de la Corbionne          (7 km)
Les chaudrons de la Dourdannerie (8 km)
La  marche de l'Écrevisse                (10 km)
Les bruyères du Noyer                     (12 km)
Les douves du Grand Cumont          (14 km)
La butte du Château                       (15,5 km)
La boucle des Trois Moulins             (26 km)  

The waymarks are regularly maintained by BPN accredited volunteers and supervisors.
You will find below the map, itinerary, gpx file and QR codes for each walk.
The village SNCF station is served by the Paris - Le Mans train.  To find the departure point for walks, follow the signs for the 'complexe sportif' and 'départ randonnées'.

  • Bakers, butcher / delicatessen, grocer.
  • Accommodation:  gîtes et b & b (les Défais, la Féverole)

Map of the 8 hiking trails departing from Bretoncelles : (click on map for popup)
Carte 8 chemins avec légende

Communauté Coeur de Perche Maison du Parc du Perche - Manoir de Courboyer Orne in Normandy

 

We recognise the initial contribution of these organisations in the preparation of the documents and files published on this site.  We very much appreciate their efforts and thank them for their continued support.

Walking has benefits for your health!

Giphy 1

 

Walking is a physical exercise advised in all cases provided you do it for 30 minutes a day.

Le Petit Houx du Parc

Distance and time : 5 km (1 h 30)

To discover :
 ♦ The hamlet of 'le Parc' : a castle used to top the hill, probably destroyed by the English during the Hundred Years War. Around 1840 some remnants of the enclosure wall still existed.  Just after the last houses of the hamlet you can see, by the side of the path, a fine patch of holly broom or Ruscus (butcher's broom), hence 'le petit houx' in French.
 ♦ The calvary cross of Captain Ernest Pommerelle, of the 1st Marine Infantry, who died in Bretoncelles on 9th January 1871 at the age of 38 as a result of injuries suffered in the fight against the prussian army on 21st November 1870.
 ♦ Gué Cheval : you will come across the ford to the left of the footbridge over the Corbionne (gué = ford; cheval = horse).
Le moulin (mill) d'Arrondeau : on the Corbionne, which in 1908 was equiped with a turbine to generate electricity for the village.  It was inaugurated on the 10th October 1909 and operated until 1934.  No fewer than 8 watermills are present within the commune.  The site is picturesque.

Fragon epineuxLegion d honneur pommerelle

Le Petit Houx du Parc
5 km - 1h30
Departure : Bretoncelles, car park of the 'Complexe Sportif'.
Direction : clockwise.
Way marks : (PR) yellow signs and markings.

Ease of walking: good, easy.
Terrain : dirt or stony paths, small gravel tracks.
Points of interest : views over Bretoncelles, history (the war of 1870), nature (butcher's broom).

Useful links :

Route here

Map here

 GPX file here

On the way.....

  1. The prickly broom, in French 'le petit houx';
  2. An episode from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 in Bretoncelles (here);
  3. Captain Ernest Pommerelle, who fought with his battalion around Bretoncelles and died of his injuries on 10th January 1874 and is buried in the cemetery (here).

Houx carte qr 1QR code map

 

 

 

Qr en houx itinQR code route

 

 

 

Sur les Ponts de la Corbionne (The Bridges over the Corbionne)

Distance and time : 7 km (2 hours)

To discover :
♦ La Corbionne : Bretoncelles is in the river basin of the River Loire via its sub-tributary, the Corbionne, which flows into the Huisne.  The Corbionne and its tributaries total 63 km of watercourses which flow in the unspoilt valleys of pasture and woodland. Its constant flow, the cool water current, and the variety of its aquatic habitats are the source of a remarkable fish fauna : brown trout and  grayling.

Sur les Ponts de la Corbionne  (The Bridges of the Corbionne)
7 km      2h
Departure : Bretoncelles, 'complexe sportif' car park.
Direction:    clockwise
Waymarks:  yellow signposts and way markings.
Ease of walking
: good (one wet stretch)
Terrain
: dirt or stony paths, narrow gravel tracks.

Points of interest: panoramic views, typical Perche houses.

La corbionne 1

Sur les Ponts de la Corbionne

Truite farioOmbre communBrown trout                                                                                                     Grayling

 

 

Useful links:

  1. Route here:
  2. Map here;
  3. GPX file here.

Sur les ponts carte 1                       QR code map

 

Qr en ponts itin                    QR code route

 

Les Chaudrons de la Dourdannerie (The Cauldrons of Dourdannerie)

Distance and time : 8 km (2 hours15)

To discover :
La Dourdannerie : manor house of the d'Angennes family, built in the 16th century. Back from the main road, it is recognisable by the high gables and mullioned windows of the main part of the house. The sinister tale of the witch of  Dourdannerie is attached to this place.

 

La dourdannerie 1

Les Chaudrons de la Dourdannerie

Les Chaudrons de la Dourdannerie (The Cauldrons of Dourdannerie)
8 km - 2h15
Departure : Bretoncelles, car park of the 'Complexe Sportif'.
Direction : clockwise.
Way marks : (PR) yellow signs and markings.
Ease of walking : good.
Terrain : dirt or stone paths.
Points of interest : panoramic views, typical Perche houses.

Faits d hier faits divers image

Facts from the past, stories that last ....

Dourdannerie (also called Doudannerie) is a modest manor house back from the main road. It is recognisable by the high gables and mullioned windows of the main part of the house.  A sinister and macabre tale is attached to this place where reality yields nothing to legend.  A lament was written about is to the tune of " Geneviève de Brabant".

Read more about it here.

Useful links:

  1. Route here:
  2. Map here;
  3. GPX file here.

Les chaudrons carte 1                    QR code map

 

Qr en chaudrones itin                     QR code route

La marche de l'Écrevisse (Crayfish Walk)

Distance and time : 10 km ( 2 hours 45)

To discover :
♦  La Donnette : tributary of the Corbionne, at the mid-point of this walk, which is the habitat of the white clawed crayfish (protected species),  by virtue of its water quality. It can be found under pebbles, rocks and stones as well as roots.  This species is sensitive to turbidity in the water.
♦ The hamlet of la Pezassière, which was the target of a Prussian bombardment on 21st November 1870, causing six civilian deaths.
♦ The mill (moulin) of Haute Planche, in activity until 1976.  Milled produce from here represented a third of the production of the department of Orne.
♦ The mill at Thivaux with its ford across the Donnette.
♦ Exceptional views of the centre of Bretoncelles all along the route.

La Marche de l'Écrevisse

La Marche de l’Écrevisse

La Marche de l’Écrevisse (Crayfish Walk)
10 km       2 hours 45 mins

Start:                       
Bretoncelles 'complexe sportif' car park
Direction:  clockwise
Way marks: yellow signposts and way markings
Ease of walking:  quite good (two wet passages, one steep climb)
Terrain:  dirt or stony paths and gravel tracks (63%)
Points of interest: pleasant walk including a natural conservation area

Rando ecrevisse

Moulins hp et thivaux 3

La Marche de l'Écrevisse

Useful links:

  1. Route here;
  2. Map here;
  3. GPX file here.
     

La marche carte 1                    QR code map

 

 

Qr en ecrevisse itin                     QR code route

The four other hiking trails of Bretoncelles Patrimoine et Nature :

Les bruyères du Noyer                            (12 km)
Les douves du Grand Cumont                (14 km)
La butte du Château                                (15,5 km)
La boucle des Trois Moulins                   (26 km)   

Last edited: 19/02/2024